Monday, November 26, 2012

Photography and Death

“The living do not bury the dead, the dead bury the living” –Jack Spicer

Look differently
and they are gone
immortally immobile
temporally displaced

the dead have the ultimate
the space between photos

story remains unwritten

helplessly mute


hanging on limb by broken limb
off decaying gravestone.

bone crumbles faster
granite commuter trains

the dead never die

“oh come and believe me oh come and believe me to-day oh come
and believe me oh come just for one minute”

anonymous portraits


the difference


the space between who you
could be

and me
standing over an empty plot

time seeps

“There is no gratitude”

tipping the scale
tattooed into balance

can we switch places in stone
skipping them

till they sink

“with so many dead to respect it gets quiet difficult not to offend anyone”


lingering no longer listening

desensitized to people
they have never met

immortal only in name

ghostly memories printed on
doors that never open

being forever in motion
creates a sense
of always
standing still

the temporary proof of existing

the footsteps in the sand
the ocean never washed away

The impression of the dead is porous. Sugar coats the glass doorways. Today I want to meet your silent portrait. Trailing in capstone sweetness, ripped out and sewing spines down highway intersections. I wanted to clean your grave. No obligation. The wrinkle where you used to smile. The glitter grinding the gears, isn’t that lovely. Refuse interior. I tried to interact today. And yet in a place where being alive is second nature, feeling alive is pushed into dark holes waiting till the gates open again. In a place where everyone goes to talk to the dead, I believe the dead stopped listening a long time ago. They stare out at us in empty photographs, looking at the space between now and what will be. What happens when the photographs fade, when the gaze of our loved ones reaches the brink and they blink?

we drink.

(quotes taken from Gertrude Stein, except for the last quote I said that one) 

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